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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Leather Compass is a sports novel written by Brian Siguenza. After sustaining a broken rib during a football game, Adam McDonough is sidelined from his Cedar University football team until he heals enough to take the field once more. During his down-time, Adam finds himself watching a lot of the team plays to keep his spirits high, only to discover that an opposing team’s star player, Howard Anderson, hadn’t been playing fair. His unnatural speed and skill, plus a bandage worn over a discolored patch on Howard’s skin told Adam that the star player was doping up. After confiding in his reporter girlfriend, Emily Redd, a secret investigation is underway, uncovering something far more sinister than just another doped up sports player. Emily and Adam find themselves in danger, butting heads with the media who will stop at nothing to discredit them, and are being threatened by the Pentagon themselves after a top secret government experiment, code-named Leather Compass, had been revealed to the public. The United States government, now in damage control, will do whatever it takes to keep the real truth hidden, destroying anybody who gets in their way.
While I am not such a great fan of sports novels, I found myself absolutely mesmerized with the conspiracy, deception, and mystery which Leather Compass portrays. Brian Siguenza’s imagination stretches far and presents a tale which could become a terrifying reality if the government chose to alter a person’s DNA in order to create the perfect soldier, enhancing their speed and strength until they become the ultimate killing machine. Although the experiment started with the doping of a football player, the fact that the government will stop at nothing to keep their plans secret shows that they are fully aware of the controversy and the dangers which they have created.
From the first page to the last, Leather Compass pulled me into the story to such a degree that I felt like I was actually there, witnessing it and living it, like watching a high definition film with closed captions throughout. The reaction of each person involved spanned from funny to outright chilling. I thoroughly enjoyed Brian Siguenza’s highly imaginative portrayal of a terrifying future where the government is not held accountable for their actions. I recommend this book to all who love conspiracies which leads to the whistle-blower unleashing a tidal wave of wrath from those pulling the strings.